Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Team of the Week for March 11, 2024

Monday, March 11, 2024 | 9:41 PM

Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week: North Catholic Trojans

Coach: Molly Rottman (25th season)

Record: 12-0 in Section 1-4A, 18-7 overall

#Earned: Last week, North Catholic added to its WPIAL record with a 23rd district championship when it stunned top seed Blackhawk in a rematch of the 2023 title game, 40-37 in overtime. The Trojans outscored the Cougars 6-3 in OT. On Saturday, North Catholic hosted Conneaut for the second year in a row in the PIAA first round. Unlike some other WPIAL champions that struggled in the state opener, the Trojans stormed out to a 20-2 lead after one quarter. By halftime, the District 7 champions were in total control, leading 38-8. North Catholic pulled its starters after three quarters and even though they didn’t score a point in the final quarter, the Trojans cruised to the second round with a convincing win, 47-29.

Scoring stars: Senior guard Alayna Rocco has a game for the ages in the WPIAL championship game against Blackhawk. Rocco, who will be attending Harvard in the fall, hit nine field goals, one 3-pointer and seven free throws in scoring 26 of her team’s 40 points. Then in the PIAA opener, Rocco scored 12 points but was not the team leader as freshman Brady Wehner led the Trojans with 13 points to become the third North Catholic player to lead NC in scoring in four playoff games. Another freshman, Lauren Reitz, scored a game-high 16 points in the district semifinals win over Elizabeth Forward.

Last year: The more some things change, the more they stay the same. Like this year, North Catholic was undefeated as section champs and like this year and 21 others seasons, the Trojans were hoisting gold as WPIAL champions. North Catholic rolled past Blackhawk in the finals in 2023, 51-35, for the school’s 22nd district title. In the PIAA playoffs last year, the Trojans defeated Conneaut, Harbor Creek and Wyomissing before falling in the rematch to Blackhawk in the state semifinals, 45-40.

Remember when: The North Catholic girls have also won eight PIAA championships, with their most recent one coming in 2016. Coach Molly Rottman, who starred for the Trojans in the late 1980s, has won 12 WPIAL titles as a head coach and three as a player, and she has been part of two state championship runs, one as a coach and one as a player. The first state championship for the Trojans came in 1980. They won back-to-back PIAA crowns in 1983-1984 and captured three straight state championships from 1993-1995. Mt. Lebanon is the only other WPIAL girls basketball team to three-peat as state champions (2009-2011).

2024 Trib HSSN Girls Basketball Teams of the Week

Week 9 – South Fayette Lions

Week 8 – Laurel Highlands Mustangs

Week 7 – Penn Hills Indians

Week 6 – Trinity Hillers

Week 5 – Upper St. Clair Panthers

Week 4 – Lincoln Park Leopards

Week 3 – Elizabeth Forward Warriors

Week 2 – Aliquippa Quips

Week 1 – Norwin Knights


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